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OGSIEC bows to pressure, cancels nomination fee for candidates

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Abiodun. Photo/TWITTER/DABIODUNMFR

Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) has cancelled nomination fees for chairmanship and councillorship candidates in the forthcoming local council elections in the state.
 
OGSIEC’s Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Osibodu, who disclosed this, noted that in its earlier guidelines for the July 24 poll, it stipulated that chairmanship candidates would pay a non-refundable fee of N200, 000, while councillorship candidates will pay N100, 000 each.
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He said the commission was, however, inundated with calls for its cancellation based on a court judgment. “We did promise that we will revert our decision if any of the political parties was able to provide the said judgment; unfortunately, none of them was able to come up with the judgment until recently.
 
“We took it upon ourselves after the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) strike was called off to request a copy of the judgment from the Chief Registrar of Ogun State High Court. We have now received a CTC of the judgment in the case of the National Conscience Party (NCP) and others, versus OGSIEC and Attorney-General of Ogun State as delivered in May 2004 by Hon. Justice G.O Soremi to the effect that Sections 14,15 and 16 of the Ogun State Electoral Law of 2007 contravenes Section 7 (4), 106 and 107 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As amended).

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Consequently, the Commission has decided to cancel payment of nomination fees as earlier announced.”
 
While noting that the commission has not collected money from any of the political parties or candidates prior to the latest decision, the chairman reiterated the electoral body’s resolve to be neutral, fair, impartial, even-handed and transparent in the conduct of the election.
 
He affirmed that OGSIEC would work within the ambit of the law as provided.
 
Osibodu further disclosed that security wise, the commission has scaled up preparation and synergy with the various security agencies to ensure that the exercise is peaceful across the state, assuring voters of violence-free council polls come July 24, 2021.

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